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Peru without Swarms of Tourists

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Peru without Swarms of Tourists

1. Posted by roryschultze (Budding Member, 4 posts) 16 May '13 08:06

I’m looking for things to do in Peru other than Machu Picchu, I don’t really want to visit the same tourist spots that everyone else visits, does anyone know of some interesting places to visit that aren’t swamped with tourists?

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1514 posts) 16 May '13 09:40

"... does anyone know of some interesting places to visit that aren’t swamped with tourists?..."

Colombia.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4366 posts) 16 May '13 10:18

I loved hiking in the Cordillera Blanca. Prior altitude acclimatization is a must, since most of the good hikes are above 4500 meters, but wow, it's gorgeous, and at least when I did it (in late May), there were barely any other tourists to be seen.

For what it's worth though, the only place where I really felt part of the tourist throng (with accompanying oppressive behaviour from locals seeing you as a walking ATM) was in Cuzco; most other places, including Arequipa, Cabanaconde (on the edge of the Colca Canyon) and Puno, tourists wandered only by occasionally, and mostly everyday life ignored them. I'm sure that's somewhat different during high season, but that in itself provides a recommendation: Go in April/May or September/October.

4. Posted by nigelwclifford (Budding Member, 6 posts) 16 May '13 20:24

Hey Rory, I had a similar mentality when I went through Peru so I found a few places that aren’t as popular with tourists as Machu Picchu;

Kuelap fortress in Chachapoyas – This is a nice alternative to Machu Piccu, it’s located at the top of this moutain so the drive up there is quite spectacular in itself, but when you get there the history of the fortress itself is quite interesting.

The Nazca lines – I found these to be really interesting, the plane flight to go check them out is great because you get to see the shear scale of these images, they still don’t understand fully what their purpose was which makes it all that more interesting to see.

Iquitos – This city in the Peruvian Amazon is the largest city in the world that can’t be reached by car. There is a lot to see here, they have the Casa de Fierro which was built by Gustav Eiffel (the man who made the Eiffel tower), the floating markets are a really unique experience and the “butterfly farm” outside of town is actually an animal sanctuary where they have large cats and tapirs that you can see up close (we got to hold a baby Ocelot).

5. Posted by roryschultze (Budding Member, 4 posts) 16 May '13 21:30

Thanks for the advice!

6. Posted by overkill (Budding Member, 28 posts) 17 May '13 00:48

Like Sander I would recommend Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash.
Actually I've never been there before, but is on my wish list really on the top. For sure less crowded tham Macchu Picchu.

Btw. Sander, how is it in May to go there? High season is in June-August no?

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4366 posts) 17 May '13 03:35

Weather / hiking-wise, May was perfect.

We stayed in Caraz, which was an absolutely lovely town (much preferred it over what we saw of Huaraz from the bus), but wasn't so good altitude-wise (I lost altitude acclimatization after 4-5 days, and got quite dizzy hiking up slopes above 4500 meters after that - not a good experience). The main thing we noticed of it being shoulder season is that it was hard to find someplace to eat in Caraz sometimes (though on one occasion, when the owners of a closed restaurant noticed us looking in, they just opened up the place on the spot). Laguna de Paron was gorgeous, but my favorite hike would be the one to Lago 69 (though this also had the most other tourists doing it). Still want to go back someday to do one of the multi-day circuits.